Handheld television

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A Handheld television is a portable device that usually uses a TFT LCD or OLED color display. Many of these devices resemble handheld transistor radios.


Sony Watchman

In the 1970s and early 1980s, Panasonic and Sinclair Research released the first TVs which were small enough to fit in a large pocket; called the Panasonic IC TV MODEL TR-001 and MTV-1. Since LCD technology was not yet mature at the time, the TV used a minuscule CRT which set the record for being the smallest CRT on a commercially marketed product.

Later in 1982, Sony released the first model of the Watchman; a pun on Walkman. It had grayscale video at first. Several years later, a color model with an active-matrix LCD was released. Some smartphones integrate a television receiver, although Internet broadband video is far more common.

Since the switch-over to digital broadcasting, handheld TVs have reduced in size and improved in quality. The major current manufacturers of DVB-T standard (common throughout Europe) handheld TVs are August International, ODYS and Xoro.


Elements of a pocket television CRT: (1) Recessed Screen, (2) Electron Beam, (3) Electron Gun

These devices often have stereo 18 inch (3.2 mm) phono plugs for composite video~analog mono audio relay to serve them as composite monitors; also, some models have mono 1/8" jacks for the broadcast signal that is usually relayed via F connector on standard television models.

Some include HDMI, USB and SD ports.

Screen sizes vary from 1.3 to 5 inches (33 to 127 mm). Some handheld televisions also double as portable DVD players and USB PVR.


Portable TVs cannot fit in your pocket, but often run on batteries and include a cigarette lighter receptacle plug.

Pocket TVs fit in a pocket.

Wearable TVs sometimes are made in the form of a wristwatch.

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